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Any advice for good headphones ?

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG] - NEW!' started by Fred P, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Fred P

    Fred P

    Mar 7, 2017
    Hi, all.
    I’m looking to get new headphones. The ones I already have (RCA HP 450) don’t do very well for the bass, although they are OK for piano/keyboard. Any suggestions or advice on what to look for, what to avoid, etc. ? I need something I could buy for a reasonable price (75-100$), and it will be used mostly for practicing.

    Thanks for your help !

  2. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    I like my Grado SR80e. Check them out. Not too expensive.
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  3. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    My son bought me a pair of Shure SRH240A’s a year ago and I use them every day. Highly recommended.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    IMO: there are great choices (cheap) out there just for monitoring during practice.

    bass only = just about anything works.
    bass + music = 'true full range' with no exotic bumps/dips
    accuracy of playback = reference cans

    good luck with your search! :thumbsup:
  5. Fred P

    Fred P

    Mar 7, 2017
    Thanks for the reply !

    Bass + music is more what I’m looking for. I run my bass and iPhone through my amp for practicing with playback. It sounds OK with the amp, but when I plug the headphones I’m currently using, my bass tends to sound a bit muddy, making it a bit hard for me to know if I’m on pitch (even though I usually have a pretty good ear). So, for a « true full range », which affordable headphones would you choose ?
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    Fred P , i actually use reference phones for everything i do. probably the best + cheapest in that category is the AKG K240 studio set.* full range + 'flat' (no artificial bumps/dips). they go for about $60 (+/-) new. one advantage to reference cans is: they accurately 'tell/show' you what you are listening to, e.g., if your bass sounds "muddy" it's because you're feeding a muddy signal.

    if you can afford $60-70 USD or more: i would skip the first two categories i mentioned and just get reference monitor phones. that category includes some very expensive sets, but they are all meant to be 'neutral' and therefore have a lot of uses (recording/mixing/mastering) and would be great for helping to avoid 'mud' with your settings = what you hear is what's actually going on!

    mostly: avoid the phones which brag about "bass boost" and "extra sizzle" as these cans are promoting their own sound instead of the 'objective' or 'true' sound you are probably seeking. avoid 'coloration' of sound when possible. you can use your instrument/amp controls and your effects to color the sound the way you want.

    * best bang-for-buck and they have been used by audio professionals for decades! and they are still being used today!
    Fred P likes this.
  7. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    for bass and music listening: ATH M50X
    wizay likes this.
  8. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
  9. saabfender

    saabfender SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    My favorite practice headphones are Sennheiser HD280. They have the most isolation of any headphone on the market. They really will deal with power also. I think they are better choice in this application than AKG 240s. They can take more power and are physically tougher. Like how they feel on my noggin better also.
  10. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
  11. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    Yeah, I have a set of Grado's SR60e and Sennheiser's HD280 Pros - the Grados are way better for practicing bass to a source... My bass lines are clearer, and the source music bass lines are easier to hear in the Grados than any other cans I've ever tried...
    PCR likes this.
  12. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016

    The HD280 are great headphones for $100. They have a reasonably flat response, and are comfortable for extended use.

    My only complaint: I've had and used mine so long (3+ years) the vinyl covering on the head cushion is beginning to flake off. When I get really tired of that, I will replace eventually with another pair.
  13. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    I think you can buy a replacement for that for around $20 - IIRC, I saw it at Full Compass
  14. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016
    Cool. I will check that out.
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  15. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Sony MDR-V6 or whatever replaces this
    used in a ton of studios both in the control room and studio
    Highly recommended
  16. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Just avoid 'beats' by Dr. dre (whoever he is) marketing, marketing, marketing. $20 headphones for $80 that are so over bassed you will think you're in a boom car.
    jebmd likes this.
  17. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Audio-Technica MX-50. They are amazing. They're only $150. Their sound is full and clear, very natural. Best headphones for the money, hands down.
  18. Fred P

    Fred P

    Mar 7, 2017
    I finally got a pair of Shure SRH440. Pretty satisfied, so far. Thanks for all your advices and suggestions, they’ve been really helpful !

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